Jewellery News Asia (JNA), main organiser of the JNA Awards, announced on June 21 the shortlisted honourees for the first nine (9) categories of the JNA Awards at a press conference held on the first day of the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The press conference was attended by Wolfram Diener, Senior Vice President of UBM Asia Ltd; Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA and Director of Business Development -- Jewellery Group at UBM Asia and representatives from the awards' headline partners: Rita Maltez, Manager of Rio Tinto Diamonds, Greater China Representative Office; and Kent Wong, Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited. JNA Awards' honoured partners including Robert Wan Tahiti and Israel Diamond Institute were represented at the event as well. Hidetaka Kato, Honorary Dean of the Tokyo Diamond Exchange one of the JNA Awards judges was also present at the press conference.

In his introductory speech, Diener said: "These awards have been such a success so far and we are certain that they will be soon regarded as a universal benchmark of quality within the jewellery industry. Being part of the honouree list is a tremendous achievement and we look forward to the ceremony in September."

Chow, Chair of the JNA Awards judging panel, said: "The calibre of entries submitted to the inaugural JNA Awards was remarkable. Making the honouree list is a fantastic achievement for all the companies involved. However, we would also like to thank all the people who took the time to enter this year.  We look forward to seeing the honourees in Hong Kong in September."

"Congratulations to the shortlisted entrants who have made it through the selection process, which has been very competitive and of the highest international standard. Rio Tinto is proud to support the Awards which showcases the tremendous growth potential of this industry," Rio Tinto's Maltez said.

Wong of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group added, "We also would like to applaud the shortlisted honourees for their great achievement. The quality of each entry is a reflection of the exceptionally high standard of the Awards, and we are delighted by the industry support the event has received so far."

"I was very impressed by the quality and geographical reach of the entries considering this is the first time we organized this event, I hope to see more entries from Mainland China and S.E. Asia next year," said Albert Cheng, Managing Director of World Gold Council -- Far East one of the judges. I also sincerely hope that JNA Award will become an 'Oscar Event' of the jewellery industry in Asia going forward, healthy and transparent industry event to breed development and progression."

Another judge James Courage, Chief Executive Officer, Platinum Guild International UK Ltd also commented on the high level of the entries: "We had to judge a very strong cross section of entries of very high quality. The judging process was challenging but rewarding given the quality of the calibre of the applications." 

The following individuals and companies have been selected for the honouree list of the inaugural JNA Awards 2012:

3 Decades of Excellence Award:

         Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd from Hong Kong

         Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd from India

         Kashi Jewellers from India

         Nelson Jewellery Arts Co Ltd from Hong Kong

Brand of the Year:

         Cartier from Switzerland

         Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd from Hong Kong

         TTF from mainland China

Employer of the Year:

         Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd from Hong Kong

         Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd from India

Industry Innovation of the Year -- Manufacturing:

         K.S. Jewelry International Co Ltd from Thailand

         Kiran Exports Hong Kong Ltd from Hong Kong

         Nelson Jewellery Arts Co Ltd from Hong Kong

         TTF from mainland China

Industry Innovation of the Year -- Retail:

         Plukka (HK) Ltd from Hong Kong

Manufacturer of the Year:

         Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt Ltd from India

         KGK Jewellery Manufacturing Limited from Hong Kong

         Kiran Exports Hong Kong Ltd from Hong Kong

         Pranda Group from Thailand

Retailer of the Year:

         Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co, Ltd from Hong Kong

         Luk Fook Holdings (International) Limited from Hong Kong

         Sterling Jewelers Inc from the USA

Sustainability Initiative of the Year:

         Jewelmer International Corporation from the Philippines

Young Leader of the Year (Age 30 or below):

         L' Dezen Jewellery Co Ltd from Hong Kong

         Leibish & Co Ltd from Israel

         The Inspired Collection from New Zealand

The Wonder of the World category, which is open only to AsiaWorld-Expo exhibitors during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2012, will be accepting entries until 27 July 2012. The recipient of the award will be announced during the JNA Awards ceremony on 20 September 2012.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be selected by the main organisers and will be announced at a later date.

Industry leaders Rio Tinto, Chow Tai Fook, Robert Wan Tahiti, Israel Diamond Institute and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange are leading the event as JNA Awards 2012 (www.JNAawards.com) partners.

The JNA Awards is an industry-wide event that honours and recognises excellence and achievement in the global jewellery trade with an Asian focus. The Awards ceremony and gala dinner will be held on 20 September 2012, during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. The event, the first of its kind in Asia, is organised by JNA (www.jewellerynewsasia.com) of UBM Asia in collaboration with the UBM Awards.

The JNA Awards 2012 is a ticketed event by application only. Interested parties may submit their request by logging on to www.JNAawards.com.  

JNA, first published in 1983, is the flagship magazine of UBM Asia's (www.ubmasia.com) Jewellery Group. The publication is a leader in providing the latest industry updates and in-depth reports, covering the international jewellery trade with an Asia insight. Following its success, the publication launched its online edition, www.jewellerynewsasia.com in June 2011.